By Fern Theobaldo

KUTZTOWN, PA – Uganda’s Parliament passed an anti-LGBTQ+ bill on Tuesday, March 21. This bill states that people identifying as LGBTQ+ are punishable by 20 years in prison, and some “crimes” are punishable by death.

All except two of the 389 legislators voted for this bill. According to Reuters, “It targets an array of activities, and includes a ban on promoting and abetting homosexuality as well as conspiracy to engage in homosexuality.”

According to the bill, the death penalty is imposed for cases involving “aggravated homosexuality” –  same-sex relations without consent, duress or incest, and if the person has a physical or mental disability or illness without a scientific cure. 

The lawmaker, Asuman Basalirwa, introduced the anti-LGBTQ+ bill to the parliament, stating that its objective is to “protect our church culture; the legal, religious and traditional family values of Ugandans from the acts that are likely to promote sexual promiscuity in this country.”

“The objective of the bill was to establish a comprehensive and enhanced legislation to protect traditional family values, our diverse culture, our faiths, by prohibiting any form of sexual relations between persons of the same sex and the promotion or recognition of sexual relations between persons of the same sex,” said Basalirwa.

However, activists believe that this law causes trouble and does not protect anyone. Instead, it is being used for blackmail and hate crimes. “People are receiving calls that ‘if you don’t give me money, I will report that you are gay.’ Even some families are reporting their own children to the police,” one activist told BBC

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